The overall aim of this project is to provide a methodological and conceptual contribution to address the governance of natural resources as a complex process involving multiple levels and scales. The project focuses on land as a key natural resource. Land use and land cover change deeply impact biological diversity and respond to the complex interplay between economic opportunities and institutional and cultural factors. The main objective of the project is to develop a comparative geographical information system (GIS) methodology to address land governance at multiple levels by investigating interrelations between land tenure, land use, land cover and biodiversity in the cases of Bolivia and Laos. Both countries have highly diverse institutional, socio-economic and cultural contexts and have recently experienced partial transfers of governance from central state to sub-national and local levels, in parallel with an increased recognition of traditional or indigenous authorities.
Collected data will be processed together with already existing ones to identify so-called "geopolitical" hotspots where land governance is at stake, and link them with biodiversity crisis zones. The identification of these complex geographical contexts and their local dynamic outcomes will allow highlighting processes and patterns that are globally relevant to policymakers in development and conservation.